While I have never personally needed the hands-on experience of interacting with farm animals to know they deserve to be treated as sentient beings, for some people that is all it takes.
It doesn’t take much to realize how little difference there is between the animals they eat and the animals they consider pets at home.
Much respect to those that dedicate their life to operating animal sanctuaries. They definitely do not start a sanctuary to live an easy life and make any money. All sanctuaries are constantly in need of financial support and volunteers.
Here are a few sanctuaries within driving distance from Charlotte.
Animal Sanctuaries Near Charlotte
Changing Hearts Founded by Rick and Carolyn Solan, Changing Hearts Farm is located in Shelby, NC, about an hour drive from Charlotte. After they watched Forks Over Knives in 2011, they quickly decided to transition to a vegan lifestyle and started construction on Changing Hearts Farm in 2017.
Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary is located in Leesville, SC, about 1 hour and 45 minutes away from Charlotte and approximately 25 miles southwest of Columbia, SC. They provide a safe haven for abandoned, abused, neglected, and elderly farm animals.
Founded in 2012. Located in Pittsboro, NC, about 2 hours from Charlotte. “The Refuge is a sanctuary for rescued chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, and goats who come from lives of abuse, neglect and abandonment. These animals find peace and protection on 20 acres of pasture and woods where they are provided with top notch, life-long care. As the Refuge grows we will expand to provide homes for rescued pigs and cattle.” Their website has a section on factory farms and vegan info including this handy guide to vegan options in the Triangle area.
Trew Love Sanctuary is a 501c3 non profit farm animal rescue and eco-sanctuary in Western North Carolina. Only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Charlotte.
One additional sanctuary shoutout to Life With Pigs. While they are located in Williamsburg, Virginia, we have visited on multiple occasions and I’ve enjoyed their online content for many years.
Dog Foster/Adoption Near Charlotte
Other Rescues Near Charlotte
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is located in Indian Trail, NC. They provide care to over 50 different wild bird species and accepts domestic or exotic ducks and geese for placement, investigates nuisance referrals, and offers rescue assistance.
Carolina Raptor Center educates the public and rehabilitates birds of prey. They have a complete page offering links and info to other rescues for wild life and song birds.
Animal Rehabilitators of the Carolinas (ARC)
ARC is a nonprofit organization that cares for orphaned and injured wildlife in Charlotte and the surrounding counties. We accept animals on a regular basis, directly or by referral from Animal Control, Humane Societies, The Carolina Raptor Center, veterinary offices, and concerned individuals. ARC is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization staffed entirely by dedicated volunteers. We are supported totally through donations from the public and receive no city, county, state or federal funding. All animals are accepted free of charge and with no obligation to the caller.